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4.3 out of 5 stars
28
J. Edgar (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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on May 21, 2017
DiCaprio's performance is the main reason to see this overly long film on the life and career of J. Edgar Hoover, the founder and longtime director of the FBI. Some interesting insight into Hoover's personal life here, and how it meshed (or didn't) with his public profile. But the film drags in places, and is weakened by a meandering story line and some surprisingly poor make-up. (Hoover's "longtime companion" Clyde Tolson winds up looking like a mummified creature from some low-budget cheesy horror flick). Worth viewing once, but not buying unless you are a huge DiCaprio fan.
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on March 28, 2017
Leo at his best.
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on July 31, 2017
DiCaprio delivers
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on August 21, 2017
good movie
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon July 8, 2016
The movie opens in the 1960's. The FBI wants to investigate MLK and the SCLC, but RFK doesn't want to allow it until the FBI has a tape of JFK in a compromising position. The movie flashes back to Hoover's involvement in the Palmer Raids and the deportation of a US citizen, Emma Goldman. It uses the flashback method to show us events in the past that shaped Edgar's way of thinking. He was a stickler for details and liked science, especially that fingerprint thing. We also get a glimpse of his fight with organized crime and becoming a hero in the Lindbergh trial. The movie skirts his cross dressing save for a story told by his mother of another boy. It also touches on his homosexuality, but doesn't focus on it except for one scene (man kiss).

Leonardo DiCaprio played J.Edgar similar to how he played Howard Hughes. The script brings out the complexity of Hoover as both a genius patriot and a blackmailing diabolical man. It shows him as reluctant to spy on reporters for Nixon and someone who disliked Joe McCarthy. An interesting movie for any history buff. It connects to our present era of terrorism and extradition.

one f-bomb, the cs word, no nudity, shadow sex with noises.
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on March 24, 2017
Not the movie I had expected, but well surprised!
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on June 15, 2012
Dicaprio was excellent in the role, and Eastwood's directing was excellent as well. The script attempted to be historically accurate, and the special features explain where the soft data lies. This is important since secrecy was a key component of Hoover's directorship.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 15, 2012
This speculative biopic of the controversial FBI director stars Leonardo DiCaprio. The story opens in 1970, as Hoover is dictating his history of the Bureau; in flashbacks, we see his pivotal role the Lindburgh case and his battles with Communists, the Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also obsessed with his doting mother (Judi Dench) and his long-time Assistant Director, Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer).

The story is, in turns, exciting and boring, heartfelt and cheesy and has two insurmountable flaws: DiCaprio is horribly miscast as Hoover (he still looks and sounds like Jack Dawson, despite supposedly aging 53 years) and the terrible old-age make-up used for Hoover, Tolson, and Hoover's secretary (Naomi Watts) is absolutely terrible. Tolson, in particular, looks like Boris Karloff's Mummy and even though director Eastwood filmed the entire movie in dim, half-light, the make-up is distracting and never convincing.

I found the story of Hoover's life interesting and came away feeling quite sorry for this sad, tortured man, but the casting and make-up ruined it for me.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 19, 2014
I admit that I was only interested in watching J. Edgar (directed and produced by Clint Eastwood)due to Leonardo DiCaprio starring in it. He is one of my top seven favorite actors, and I am among the group of people that felt that DiCaprio was robbed of an Oscar this year (for his role in Wolf of Wall Street). Leonardo Di Caprio carefully plays both the good and shadowy aspects of J. Edgar’s lifelong career in the FBI. The film shows how his mother had a strong influence on his professional and personal demeanor (played by Judi Dench). The positive side of him that the movie showed was through the Lindbergh kidnapping incident where he showed determination to track down whoever was responsible for the kidnapping. One of the incidents in the movie that showcases the shadowy side of Hoover is shown through how he reacts to Martin Luther King Jr. accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Naomi Watts plays the role of Helen Gandy, Hoover’s personal secretary. Arnie Hammer plays the role of Clyde Tolson, a man who initially became FBI clerk and is listed to have eventually been promoted to Associate Director of FBI. The end of the J. Edgar movie lists the following facts:
The contents of Hoover’s “personal” and “confidential” papers will never be known. Only a few clues from misfiled documents have surfaced.
Clyde Tolson inherited Hoover’s estate, moved into his house, and accepted the U.S. flag draped over Hoover’s coffin.
Clyde Tolson is buried a few yards away from Hoover’s grave in the Congressional Cemetary.
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on November 20, 2016
Right off the bat, I have to say Leonardo DiCapprio is a GREAT actor! How he ages in this movie and carries himself is very well done. As to the movie though, it was more speculative than informative I found. Interesting how it all starts in 1919, and that Hoover was appointed acting director of the FBI at the ripe young age of 22. But aside from that, and a few other interesting points and characters that Hoover kept in his employ for his tenure and life, the majority f the movie is highly speculative and/or not. His affection for Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts), who became his lifelong secretary is never delved into. A few hints of a clandestine relationship, as certain business trips Hoover took with her were booked on Valentines Day and such. Yet, his relationship with her is constantly professional and distant in the office. However, his relationship with his 'right hand man' Clyde Tolsten (Armie Hammer) is highly supposed and concentrated on. The movie bounces around so much in time periods, I was never sure what tense I was watching. And near the end, much of it's revealed it wasn't all true anyways. As Hoover changed much of it to make himself look good for the public, and wound up believing it himself. So all in all, an educated viewer going into this knowing Hoover kept a lot of secrets of others and himself closely guarded won't find much details or answers in this. And anything that may come to light or answer questions should big taken with a BIG grain of salt. It's a well done and entertaining movie, but should by no means be taken as a 'docu-drama' anymore than 'The Last King Of Scotland'. And for me, that was a let down for this movie. Considering Eastwood directing, I hoped for a little more verifiable exposure and/or arguable suspicion a la Oliver Stone's JFK to come out of this movie. But it's just not that impacting as I thought it would and should be. More of a romance, that never truly devotes itself to anyone person or thing - other than Hoover's ego.
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